Dahal to Bhattarai, Gachchadar: Resolve IGP row pronto
KATHMANDU, SEP 10 - At a time when ruling parties are divided over a new police chief, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has told Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Home Minister Bijaya Gachhadar to resolve the issue at the earliest, possibly by Monday.
Knowledgeable sources said the Maoist chief made this suggestion in a meeting with Bhattarai and Gachhadar at his residence on Sunday. "Continued bickering over the appointment of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) does not send a positive message about the government. Therefore, it should be resolved by tomorrow [Monday]," a source quoted Dahal as saying.
Also the Deputy Prime Minister, Gachchadar has been throwing his weight behind Additional Inspector General (AIG) of Police Bhisma Prasai for the top job, saying that an IGP should be such a person with whom he is comfortable working with, as was the case with the PM as regards the appointment of the chief secretary. On the other hand, the UCPN (Maoist) has been backing another candidate, AIG Kuber Singh Rana, arguing that both seniority and competence should not be compromised. Navraj Dhakal is the other candidate vying for the job.
The coalition partners, UCPN (Maoist) and Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), have held talks on Thursday and Friday, but without success, as Gachchadar and Bhattarai stuck to their positions.
According to a Morcha leader, the SLMM has asked Bhattarai "not to take a unilateral decision as in the case of the chief secretary's appointment." The Cabinet had appointed Lilamani Poudel to the top bureaucratic post after the PM stuck to his grounds even as the Morcha pushed for its candidate, Umakant Jha, until the last moment.
"The Morcha has a "larger" commitment towards Janajati groups as the two have a common position on identity-based federalism and progressive take on state transformation," said the leader. "The Morcha has not completely ruled out Rana's possibility as he is a Janajati."
The PM has reportedly assured Morcha leaders that he would take his deputy into confidence before taking any decision on the police chief's appointment. The delay in naming his successor means the incumbent chief, Rabindra Pratap Shah, who is due to retire on September 14, may not go on a customary one-month leave.
Posted on: 2012-09-10 01:00